I am really enjoying the Imperial Series from Samuel Adams. While some of their mainstay beers don’t quite do it for me, their forays into big time flavors and styles have been quite good. I sometimes get put off by huge alcohol contents because of their flavor, so I was a little wary of their Wee Heavy, but decided to pick it up and see if it could warm me up during the winter. It’s been sitting in my fridge for a while since I didn’t really know when I had the time to enjoy a 10% ABV beer, but the time came, so here it is.
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy,
Strong Scottish Ale, 10.0 % ABV
Aroma: Intense sweet malt aromas, hints of honey and roasted malt with whiskey scents.
Appearance: Dark brown, nice tan head of foam, pours thick, decent lacing.
Flavor: You can definitely taste the alcohol in this, but there is a nice caramel malt profile, very slight hop bitterness on the finish, some aspects of roasted grains.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, nice carbonation, alcohol astringency.
Overall: This is a very nice example of a strong scotch ale. Very nice malt complexity in both flavor and aromas. Not a session beer by any means but a good beer of intense flavor and high alcohol content.
I’ve never been to New Orleans, but it’s on my list of places to visit for a number of reasons. High on that list is food and drink. I’ve never had a beer from Louisiana before, but like many people, I was caught up in the post-Katrina love for New Orleans and I’m happy to support anything from that community. So, I was in the search for some beer recently and came across a dark lager from the Dixie Brewing Company in New Orleans. I love a flavorful lager and this one seemed quite promising. So here it goes.
Aroma: Crisp scent of sweet, deep malts and faint hop notes.
Appearance: Nice dark amber, very small head.
Flavor: Caramel malts, toasty finish with very light hoppy bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium,very smooth. Low, but nice carbonation, I was surprised by how nicely it coated my mouth and how smooth its texture was.
Overall: This is a great lager. Just enough flavor and complexity, surprising for a 5.0% beer. Terrific session beer.
I buy about 95% of the beer I consume at home from a great place called Oliver’s Beverage in Albany. They have a great selection and allow you to mix and match 6 packs, and give you $3 off when you do that, which basically gives you 6 beers for the price of 5. It’s a great deal that allows you to try a bunch of different things and not be pot committed to things that don’t strike your fancy. I’m almost done with a recent mix and match pack that I created. One of those is the Railbender Ale from Erie Brewing Company. I picked it up because it had a cool name and Erie is fairly local, more so than San Diego. So here it is, the Railbender Ale.
Aroma: Citrusy hops and some other resiny notes, reminds me of a pilsner in aroma.
Appearance: Poured light amber and then settles as copper, small head which dissipates quickly.
Flavor: Some nice malt sweetness, followed by hops on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium feel, very mild carbonation.
Overall: For an ale, this beer doesn’t quite make it up to par. I was looking for a more robust nose and flavor but it reminds me more of a light beer, just not as watery. I didn’t pick up that much rich malt flavor and there was nothing more complex about it. Honestly, nothing about it seemed screamed “Scottish Ale!” which is surprising considering it’s won awards at the Great American Beer Festival. It’s okay, but I probably wouldn’t drink it again.
Vermont is a pretty awesome state. It’s got nice wilderness, a great city in Burlington, good skiing and mountain biking, and a bunch of good breweries. Long Trail Brewing Company isn’t my favorite Vermont Brewery, but it’s up there because they make nice variety of ales. They’re also quite environmentally friendly, which is always a plus. Since it’s winter time, I thought I’d pick up their seasonal ale, the Hibernator. It’s an unfiltered Scottish Ale, so it has the yeast still in the bottle and when pouring you should be careful to not pour the yeast into the glass, but rather pour rather vigorously to get the full aroma.
Aroma: Rich caramel malt aroma with some nice spice notes.
Appearance: Nice head, rich dark amber in color, yeast sediment visible. Very nice lacing on the glass as I drank it down.
Flavor: Nice toasted malts on the finish, with caramel sweetness lingering on the back with the tiniest hint of hops.
Mouthfeel: Very nice crisp carbonation, medium body.
Overall: Nice winter ale with good malt character. I wish I could’ve tasted a little more flavor on the initial sip, as most of it comes on the finish. Quality ingredients from a reputable brewery. It’s a nice example of the style that could be a good winter session beer if you are looking for something lighter than a stout or porter, but still with flavor.